Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 3: 15/22


To or for one another, Mutually, With


Verb[ます+ ()


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About 合う

When following the conjunctive form of another verb, the う - Verb () means to do that action in concert with another person/group. This is often translated as 'to mutually do (A)', or 'to do (A) for one another'. Realistically, it just means 'to do (A) reciprocally', with involvement from both sides being required. In this usage, () is considered to be a suffix.
This construction is often used with expressions like お(たが)いに 'mutually', which simply emphasizes the point.
  • 彼女(かのじょ)将来(しょうらい)(こと)(はな)()
    I am going to talk with my girlfriend about our future.
  • 子供(こども)たちおもちゃ()()()てお(にい)ちゃん(こと)(おも)()した。
    The kids were fighting with each other over a toy, and that reminded me of my older brother.
  • 友達(ともだち)とポケモンカード()()
    My friend and I showed each other our Pokemon cards.
Fun Fact
While () is regularly translated as 'to fit', or 'to meet' in English, its meaning is somewhat broader in Japanese. () means to perform an action 'as one', where it is not possible (or would be difficult) to complete the action by oneself. Due to this, it is regularly used to describe ideal situations in which individuals should be doing something together, without thinking about their own personal gain.
  • こういう(とき)こそ、(たす)()大切(たいせつ)よ。
    At times like this, it is important to help each other out.
  • 私達(わたしたち)夫婦(ふうふ)なんだからどんなことあっても協力(きょうりょく)()ないといけないよ。
    We are husband and wife, so no matter what happens, we need to cooperate.
() may also be used to in regard to sports/contests. In these cases, it may seem like players are not doing the action 'for' each other, but involvement from both sides is required to make the act possible.
  • (ぜん)チーム賞金(しょうきん)かけて(きそ)()
    Every team competed against each other with the prize money on the line.


  • 友達(ともだち)(くる)しんでる(とき)は、(たす)()べき。」

    'Friends ought to help one another in times of trouble, right?'

  • かなださき:「私達(わたしたち)同時(どうじ)告白(こくはく)()ったんだよ!」

    Saki Kanada: 'We professed our love for one another at the same time!'

  • 私達(わたしたち)そのとき協力(きょうりょく)()べきだったのに。

    We should have cooperated (with each other) at that time...

  • ()(もの)(ぶくろ)交代(こうたい)しながら(はこ)()ったので、(いえ)(はや)(かえ)ことができた。

    We came home early because we took turns carrying the groceries.

  • (たが)いに(たす)()って理解(りかい)できるようになったから、()()ようになった。

    Since we were mutually dependant on one another and came to be able to understand one another we ended up dating.

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